If you’ve planned birthday parties for your child before, you know how exhausting it is. If this is your first time, and if you read nothing else, you want to stick one rule: you want it to be about your child. No matter how tempting it would be to have a full-blown Frozen themed birthday, if they are not into it you have to drop the idea.

No matter how daunting the idea may seem at first, being organized and putting some time and energy into planning the party is the key. It’s the secret ingredient to making the day in smiles!

1. Pre-Planning the Party

Before you can start the planning process, get a notebook or open an excel sheet and prepare a checklist and a tracker. You will input all the necessary information so you have everything you need in one place. The more organized you are, the easier this will be.

2. Prepare a Budget

On that excel workbook, add a sheet and determine how you are willing and how much you can afford to spend on this party. While you want your child to have the best birthday ever, money might be tight. The budget helps because it sets limits from the get-go. Based on this, you already know what you must cross off from your list.

3. Choose a Date

Even if you want to throw the party on the day of their birthday itself, things won’t always work out the way you want. Between other children’s birthday parties, school holidays and days on which you are not allowed to throw parties (Yes! This is really a thing! Some schools have rules about this – remember to check with your child’s school just to be on the safe side.), you might not be able to do that. So, take all these factors int consideration when setting the date.

4. Set the Time

This will depend on your child’s age. The younger they are, the better it is to keep the party short. 2 hours minimum should be good – they have enough time to have fun but it is not too long that they get sleepy, tired and cranky. If they are older though, your child might prefer to have a sleep-over. So, plan your activities accordingly.

5. Sit Down Your Child and Discuss the Party with Them

Do not tell them to plan their party because let’s face it – they are children. Do you really think you’ll be able to do everything their imagination comes up with? No. So instead, ask them about the theme and their favorite food. If you want to have them more involved in the process, take them shopping with you.

6. The Guest List

That will depend on the age of your child and sometimes their schools. Some schools have rules that stipulate all the kids in their class should be invited. Also, decide if you want the parents to stay or not.

7. Invitations

Now that you’ve gotten everything sorted out, it’s time to send out the invitation. You need to give parents enough time to prepare, so, we would recommend sending the invites at least 4 weeks before the birthday party. You can also involve your child by having them help you with the design of the invitations.

8. Enlisting Helpers

Birthday parties for children are never easy or simple. You will be unable to manage the children, supervise the games and pour drinks all on your own. If you have an older child, then ask them to help you out. Otherwise, talk to another parent, a friend of yours or hire a babysitter.

9. The theme for the party

Generally, your child must already have an idea for the theme. Whether it’s a Disney, Harry Potter, Naruto or Spiderman, the theme gives you the blueprint you need to start the planning. From decorations to the cake, activities and entertainment, ensure you adapt them to the theme. If your child is too young to choose the theme, you can pick one of the following and go with it:

  1. Princesses
  2. Pirates
  3. Fairies
  4. Superheroes
  5. Toy Story
  6. Ninja turtles

If you are not having the party at your place, you can let the location dictate the theme. Popular birthday locations include:

  1. Swimming pools
  2. Skating rinks
  3. Cinema
  4. Pottery classes
  5. Soft Play Centres
  6. Paintball park

10. Entertainment

There are several things you can do to entertain your guests. The least expensive option (read more tiring) is coming up with games yourself and setting them up. If you already have too much on your plate, hire someone else to do it for you. Ensure you have everything they will need and, if you want it to be extra special, talk with them to see if they can come up with something that fits your theme.

There you go! As simple as that! You are now ready to start planning! Happy planning!